The late Archbishop Petrus Katikisa Tjijombo of the St John’s Apostolic Faith Mission will be remembered as a guide and a father figure in the Omaheke Region.
Tjijombo died on Sunday, 16 July 2023 at his residence in Windhoek aged 87.
Nampa this week spoke to several people including Ruth Kaukuata Mbura, the Swapo Party regional coordinator for Omaheke, who described late Tjijombo as a spiritual father and political icon of the Namibian revolution.
Mbura said she met Tjijombo while she was in school at Okovimburu in the Epukiro Constituency, and by then she met a different man persistent to help, and a giant in the Namibia politics.
“Tjijombo was a giant in politics as well as a man of God, we saw him when we were very young as he used to come to pray for us at school. And he played a very important role in guiding us and teaching us discipline as young children,” said Kaukuata.
“The late Tjijombo was an adviser to many of us here in Omaheke, we spent nights and days together in making sure Swapo becomes strong in this region. We can’t finish with him if we start talking about that man. We got a lot from him and his departure is a big loss to Omaheke and Namibia at large,” she said.
According to Kaukuata, Tjijombo had an eye for detail and sometimes he will tell them what was happening in the region and give them guidance on how to handle these, without being around the region.
“The archbishop served in many positions in Swapo as an elder and he played a fundamental role in the demarcation of Epukiro when it became a constituency on its own from Otjinene, he must be remembered in all the constituencies of this region especially Gobabis, Epukiro, Otjinene and Otjombinde,” she noted.
Secretary general of the St John’s Apostolic Faith Mission Tjijatura Marenga remembered Tjijombo as a father character and a spiritual father who prepared them to be the best.
“Archbishop Tjijombo was a very important person to me as he was a father figure and somebody who guided us to be better, a liberation struggle hero who fought for the independence of this country, he helped many young people who were fighting for Namibia,” Marenga recounted.
“Tjijombo always told us to be exemplary and behave in a certain way as his children, so the departure of this man is not only felt by his church members but by all residents of Omaheke Region and everyone who had any encounter with this man of God,” Marenga continued.
Tjijombo is national hero as he like many others was incarcerated and harassed by the apartheid government in the Omaheke Region, he added.
“In the early 80s Tjijombo was arrested by the apartheid regime, tied on a tree between Gobabis and Buitepos, and how he escaped there was by the grace of God. He was tortured because he was visiting Namibian liberation struggle fighters in different countries like Botswana and Zambia underground giving them advice and guidance,” Marenga said.
He urged the church members to be remain united and focused in this very difficult time, as they are mourning the death of this giant.
“As secretary general of this church I am advising members of our church to remain tranquil even when they are in long weeks of mourning, we must hold each other’s hands and try by all means to do this process peacefully as he kept us all together, because we are mourning a giant and not a child,” said Marenga.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency